If you are looking to send money overseas, Muthoot Global is one way to do it. Muthoot Global are a money transfer company, but there is also the option of sending via a bank or building society, and FX brokers.

Take a read through out article to find out more about whether this is the right option for you.

Who are Muthoot Global?

Muthoot was established in 1887 and has been in business for 132 years. The company offers money transfers from the UK to India and payment can be done via bank transfer or card payments. The company is registered in the UK

What are the options for money exchange?

There are various things to take into consideration when you are sending money overseas. You need to consider:

  • How much you are planning to send, and the frequency of the payments.
  • The total cost of sending the money, including fees.
  • The method in which the recipient wants to receive it
  • Whether the payment is urgent or not.

There are some steps to take to find the deal which is right for you.

Step 1 – Analysing the options

These are the three options you might want to consider when sending money:

  • Bank or building society
  • High street firms, such as Western Union
  • Foreign exchange (FX) brokers, such as Muthoot Global

Banks and building societies are the safest way to send regular payments, and the most convenient method, as you already have everything set up.

If you are sending large amounts, FX brokers are your best bet. If you are sending values of over £3,000 you may want to consider an FX broker.

As an alternative, money transfer firms can transfer it quickly, but they may charge you more if you are making smaller value payments.

Step 2 – Find out the total cost

Muthoot Global tend to have varying fees and exchange rates, which can make it difficult to work out exactly what the cost will be.

The first thing to do to determine the cost is to figure out how much foreign currency you will get for your pounds. You can then use that ballpark figure to compare against others.

The costs are usually made up of the following:

  • Foreign exchange rates – be aware that these can change rapidly throughout the day. If you see a good deal, you’re best to just go for it!
  • Sending fees – these are the fees for transferring the money.
  • Receiving fees – there may be a charge to the receiver, but you will be able to cover this, if need be.

The fees tend to be lower if you are sending higher amounts of money. If you are sending payments regularly, you may also benefit from lower fees, and better exchange rates.

Ask your bank for a quote and then you can start comparing this with other offers, including the quotes you are offered from FX brokers sites like FX Compared.

Step 3 – Ask for confirmation

It is important to get confirmation when you have decided on the most favourable option. The confirmation should include the amount of money you will transfer, and the expected time for delivery. It is a good idea to get the confirmation in written format, such as email or letter.

Keep all paperwork relating to the money transfer, as you never know when you may need it.

Is it safe to transfer money with Muthoot Global?

As money held in a UK bank account is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) it is the safest option as if the bank goes bust, your money is protected. However, with foreign exchange firms, there is no such protection.

If the money transfer firm or FX broker you use is Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorised, they have certain rules they need to follow, so you have a greater chance of getting money back, should the worst happen.

Read our page on checking the authorisation of a firm and what to do if something goes wrong.

If sending money, you should always check if the company is FCA authorised. This offers you much greater protection that your money is in safe hands.

What if I want to use my bank or building society?

Your bank or building society is always able to transfer money and is a safe and convenient way to send money overseas.

Pros

  • Easy to arrange – your bank will guide you through the process and you might even be able to make transfers from your mobile phone.
  • Convenient – banks and building societies are on the high street and you can set up a transfer as a regular payment.
  • Safe and secure – you will be protected when you send money overseas using a UK bank or building society.

Cons

  • Sometimes lower exchange rates – for amounts over £5,000, you’re more likely to get a better exchange rate from a foreign exchange broker.
  • Not the fastest option – standard transfer takes 4-6 business days, but you can pay extra for an express service which takes 1-2 days.Some foreign banks charge for receiving the transfer. You can ask your bank to cover all the charges so the recipient gets the full amount.

Does it pay to make regular payments?

You will find that there are many high street banks in the UK which have branches overseas, or at least have arrangements with banks overseas.

This means you can benefit from lower charges, or even no charges, when you make overseas payments, or you can get access to better exchange rates.

If you are making regular payments abroad, this can be particularly useful. If you want to benefit these reduced fees and more competitive exchange rates, you may need to have an account in the same name. If you not making regular payments, you will usually not benefit from the better rates.

What you need to make bank transfers?

If you are planning to transfer money via your bank or building society, this is what you need:

  • International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Bank Identifier Code (BIC) for the account you are transferring the money to. The recipient will be able to find these details via their online banking or bank statement. They can also speak to their branch to get these details.
  • Your own IBAN and BIC unless you are transferring the money to another branch of your own brank overseas. If it is a different bank, you will usually need this information.

How to use an online or high street money transfer firm

It is easy to find a money transfer firm which will enable you to transfer money overseas. You can find some of these, such as MoneyGram and Western Union in high street branches and Post Office branches. They may also provide online services.

These are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using money transfer firms.

Pros:

  • Variety of Services – money transfer firms offer a variety of services, including instant cash and direct transfer.
  • Quick Set-Up – you may not need an account, and for small amounts, no identification is usually required.
  • Fast Payments – the transaction can be completed quickly, usually within a few minutes. When you send money via your bank account, it could take days to complete.

Cons:

  • Range of Fees – As the fees can be wide ranging, you may find that fees are particularly high for small amounts. For instance, you could pay £10, just to transfer £50.
  • Variable Exchange Rates – The exchange rates can vary on a daily basis, so it is worth comparing the costs on the day you are sending the money.
  • Less Safety – As the FSCS does not cover money transfer firms, there is less safety and security, than there would be if you used a bank.

How to use a high street money transfer service

Using a high street money transfer service:

  • Money transfer services can be found in newsagents, at the Post Office and through high street agents. It is easy to find money transfer services.
  • The process is easy, you just hand over your money, together with the fees, and they will take care of the rest. You won’t even need to open an account first.
  • You will receive a reference number, which can be given to the recipient of the funds, so they can pick it up. The reference number should not be shared with anyone else.

Doing a final check:

  • Make sure you know what the fees will be, before you agree to transfer money, otherwise you may be in for a shock!
  • Find out where the recipient needs to collect the money and ensure they will be able to collect it. You may even be able to send it directly to the ‘wallet’ of the recipient. This can be done using systems such as M-PESA.

Sending money via an online money transfer service

How online transfers work:

  • As online money transfers can take a few days, they are better suited to transfers which are not urgently required.
  • You can make international money transfers for a small fee.
  • You need to register your bank account or credit card details to sign up, which means that internet access and access to an email address are necessary.

What to do next:

  • Inquire about the recipient and what they need to be able to receive the payment. For instance, a bank account, email address and internet access. You should make sure the recipient has everything they need before you sign up.
  • Make sure your money is protected by securing it with a hard to guess password. You should never share your password with anyone else.

How to us a foreign exchange broker for your transfer

A foreign exchange (FX) currency broker is the best option if you are sending large sums of money overseas, as you are likely to get the best deal. These are some things you should know about FX brokers.

Pros:

  • Low fees for high amounts – if you transfer over £3,000, you probably won’t be charged any fees, or low fees.
  • Better exchange rates – as FB brokers specialise in currency transactions, you will usually get a better exchange rate, especially compared to banks.
  • Quick payment – with this method, recipient’s will usually get the money on the same day, or within 24 hours.
  • Send regular payments – you can usually send regular payments when you use an FX broker.

Cons:

  • It takes time to open an account– it can take time to open an account to do a transfer if you are using an FX broker.
  • Not ideal for smaller payments – if you are sending small amounts, it is probably best to avoid FX brokers.
  • Not covered by FSCS – unlike banks, you are not covered by the FSCS if you send payments via FX brokers. If they go bust, you don’t have much protection.

Why you should always use a comparison sites

You should always use price comparison sites when you are looking to transfer money overseas, and these are some points to consider.

You should use more than one comparison site, as they can differ in the deals they offer. One might have a better deal than another. It is always worth shopping around.

Don’t take a deal without researching it and making sure they can fit your needs. For instance, they are FCA authorised, and they can deal with size of transfer you want to make. Don’t just consider the cost and fees, think about the bigger picture and whether the transfer company or bank can deal with your needs.

There may be filters on which hide some of the deals. Make sure all the filters are taken off before you determine which offer to go for.

How common are transfer scams?

Scams exist in all walks of life, and it is no difference when it comes to transferring money. You should be careful when choosing a transfer firm, as there are scammers everywhere.

These are some tips to make sure you don’t end up getting scammed.

  • Don’t just snap up a deal that looks good, it might be too good to be true. If it seems extremely cheap, there is probably a reason why!
  • Make sure any calls or emails are legitimate. If you receive an email, check the email address is authentic before you reply to it, and don’t click on any links.
  • Don’t give out any personal details, especially bank details, unless you know you are speaking to a legitimate company.

Consider whether you want to send regular payments

If you are sending regular payments, even if it’s not now, but in the future. You can lock in a good exchange rate through a ‘forward contract.’ If you are concerned about the exchange rate changing in the future, this is the best option to use, especially if you are sending regular payments.

If you have a holiday home, for instance, and you want to ensure you get a good exchange rate, both now and in the future, it is best to lock down the exchange rate. If you are planning to send money regularly to a family member, this is also a useful way to get the best rate.

What if Muthoot Global get it wrong?

It is imperative that you keep receipts and paperwork relating to the case, just incase anything goes wrong.

The issue with money transfer firms like Muthoot Global and FX brokers is that they are not covered by the compensation scheme, which means that they are a less safe option than using your bank.

However, if you find that Muthoot Global are registered with the FCA, you do have some protection, as they must safeguard your money. They must keep your money separate from company funds.

If you wish to check Muthoot Global FCA authorisation, you can do this by searching on the Financial Conduct Authority website. This will open in a new window.

When you are looking for money transfer firms, you can search via your postcode to narrow the search.

Other options than sending your money overseas with Muthoot Global

If you are looking for an alternative to money transfers, when online shopping at stores overseas, or making other purchases or overseas payments, you may wish to consider using a credit or debt card. This can be more convenient than using money transfers.

You should always avoid sending a cheque (or foreign bank draft) overseas, as this can take much longer, and can be expensive. You must pay foreign bank charges and UK bank charges.

About the author

Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson is a financial services expert, with over 10 years’ experience in the industry, including 6 years in FCA regulated companies. Read more
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